Tassie truckies dig deep to help

Big Rigs - - NEWS - Barry Reynolds

IT SEEMS some­what ironic that you would have to travel across a stretch of wa­ter to bring drought re­lief to NSW.

But that is what Glenn Phillips and lots of his mates did when they crossed Bass Strait to bring much needed feed to the parched ar­eas of the state.

Glenn, a real es­tate agent in Wyn­yard on the north­east coast of Tas­ma­nia, started out thinking maybe he and a mate might drive over but it quickly grew to a sub­stan­tial con­voy once the word went out.

“I went to bor­row a truck from a mate who has a cou­ple of them and he said ‘If you go, I’ll go’,” Glenn said.

“Then there were four of us and we put it on so­cial me­dia and sud­denly there’s 14 trucks go­ing. It was mostly peo­ple in­volved in farm­ing or con­tracted to farm­ers. The sup­port we’ve had has been in­cred­i­ble.”

Glenn and his mates were also able to hand out 100, $300 food vouch­ers, pro­vided by a lo­cal Tas­ma­nian business.

The con­voy, loaded with hay do­nated by farm­ers in the re­gion, left Devon­port by ferry on a Sun­day and fi­nally hit the road north from Mel­bourne by 11am on Mon­day (fol­low­ing a few me­dia en­gage­ments).

Af­ter a jour­ney of about 1200km, they fi­nally dropped the bales in Tam­worth on the Wed­nes­day af­ter­noon.

Once un­loaded, thoughts turned to home – and re­fresh­ment.

“The guys are feel­ing good, all pos­i­tive, and all keen for a beer tonight, no doubt,” Glenn said.

Ulver­stone driver Kyle Robin­son was en­joy­ing a well-earned quiet one with his con­voy co­horts when Big Rigs caught up with him.

De­spite all the guys sac­ri­fic­ing wages and time with fam­ily to an­swer the SOS, he said they’re al­ready plan­ning a sec­ond run.

He said the sup­port from the com­mu­nity was over­whelm­ing with ac­com­mo­da­tion and meals do­nated en route, and also a free break­down re­pair from CMV Truck & Bus in West Wodonga thrown in for good mea­sure.

But the big­gest re­ward came when the ag con­trac­tor pulled into a farmer’s prop­erty near Gunnedah, NSW, to un­load his Mack.

“They were down to their last 10 bales of hay, they only had a few more days left. They’re strug­gling a bit,” Kyle said.

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

TASSIE AN­SWERS CALL: The hay from Tas­ma­nia was a huge re­lief for New South Wales farm­ers.

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